John 20:1-18 JESUS: THE RESURRECTED REDEEMER
Intro: Today, we celebrate the greatest day in the
history of the world. Today we celebrate the great truth that Jesus Christ, who was
crucified on a Roman cross and died, arose from the dead just three days later! This one
truth is what sets Christianity apart from every other system of belief in the world! All
other religious leaders have died. Buddha died! Mohammed died! Confucius died! Every
founder of every religion that has ever existed has died. However, only One has risen
again from the dead! If we were to strip Christianity of the doctrine of the bodily
resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, then our faith would be no more than just another
religious system condemning the souls of men to an eternity in Hell! If Jesus did not
arise from the dead and is not alive today, then everything He did was in vain, His death
was a waste of a life and all of His teachings are simply the ravings of a madman! If
Jesus Christ is not alive, then you have no salvation, there is no hope for the world and
we are all headed to Hell!
Now, that having been said, I want to say that HE LIVES! I praise the
Lord for this 20th chapter of John's Gospel for in its verses we are given a
portrait of Jesus: The Resurrected Redeemer! We can see in these verses that Jesus is very
much alive and well this morning! As we celebrate the truth that Jesus lives this morning,
I would like for us to take a few minutes to look into these verses and catch a fresh
glimpse of the resurrection and what it means to every one of us today. Thank God, because
we serve a resurrected Redeemer, we have hope in this life and even beyond this life and
on into eternity. Let's look together today at Jesus: The Resurrected Redeemer.
I. V. 1-11 MARY AT THE TOMB
A. V. 1-10 Her Discovery - Mary came to the tomb
a good while before daylight. When she arrives, she finds the stone rolled away and the
tomb empty. Immediately, she runs to find the disciples of Jesus and she tells them that
the body of their Lord is missing from the tomb. When they heard this news, Peter and John
ran to the tomb to see what had happened. When they arrived, they both saw that linen
clothes lying there undisturbed and the napkin that had been around His face lying folded,
in a place by itself, v. 5-7. After they see these things, they return to their home.
John, at least, appears to have believed that the Lord Jesus was alive from the dead, v.
(Ill. A Word about the linen clothes is in order right about here. The
Bible says that the linen clothes were lying. A literal translation of this phrase says
that they were "still in their folds." This means that they looked exactly like
they were still around the body of Jesus. You see, the burial spices would have hardened
the cloths around the body and would have formed a cocoon. Apparently the cloths still
resembled the shape of the body of Jesus. Another truth to note is that the scene is very
orderly and undisturbed. Had the body been taken by grave robbers or other, the wrappings
around the body would not have been removed, and if they had been removed, they would not
have been left in such an orderly fashion. Then, there is the matter of the napkin. Had
the body been removed by others, the napkin would merely have lain where it had fallen.
Instead, it had been folded and laid in a place by itself. Everything speaks of calmness
and order in the empty tomb of Jesus!)
B. V. 11 Her Devotion - Peter and John went away
from the tomb, but Mary stayed behind to weep and mourn the loss of her Lord. Why did she
stay? Because she loved Jesus! The Bible tells us that Mary had been delivered from a life
of deep and dreadful sin, Mark 16:9. She loved Jesus for what He had done in her life. She
was devoted to Him.
(Ill. The redeemed soul will love the Lord Jesus! When you stop to think
of all He has done in your life, how could you not love Him? Mary sets the right example
of love and devotion for all the followers of the Lord. The question that comes to mind
this morning is, "Do you love him as you ought to today?")
C. V. 11 Her Darkness - Mary had her eyes
focused on the physical evidence rather than the spiritual answer! All she saw was an
empty tomb. It never entered her mind to consider the greater truth that Jesus was alive.
We might well weep with her but for the truth the He is alive and no longer dead! Oh, if
it were true that Jesus was dead today, Paul tells us of all men, we would be most
miserable, 1 Cor. 15:19.
(Ill. Many of God's children live as if they believed Jesus was dead.
There is no joy and no excitement in their lives. There is no deep burning desire to
worship and serve the God who sought us and bought us by His love and death at the cross.
We often act as if we are trapped in some dead religion that kills our joy and leaves us
feeling miserable. May I remind you this morning that you and I serve the Lord Jesus
Christ? We serve the very One who went to Calvary, died for sin and three days later arose
from the dead to live forevermore! Thank God,
I serve a risen Savior;
He's in the world today;
I know that He is living;
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him;
He's always near!
He Live! He Lives!
Christ Jesus lives today;
He walks with me and talks with me;
along life's narrow way.
He Lives! He Lives!
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives;
He Lives within my heart.
Rejoice, rejoice Oh Christian;
Lift up your voice and sing;
To Jesus Christ the King.
The hope of all who seek Him;
The help of all who find;
None other is so loving;
So good and kind!
(Ill. With that in mind, let's determine this Easter Sunday morning that
we will no longer hang our heads in brokenness and sadness. But, rather, that we learn to
rejoice in a living Savior!)
(Ill. A family lost three children to diphtheria in
the same week. Only a three-year-old girl escaped the disease. On the following Easter
morning, the father, mother, and child attended church. Because the father was the Sunday
school superintendent, he led the session when all the classes met together. As he read
the Easter message from the Bible, many were weeping, but the father and mother remained
calm and serene.
When Sunday school was over, a 15-year-old boy was walking
home with his father. "The superintendent and his wife must really believe the Easter
story," said the boy. His father answered, "All Christians do."
"Not the way they do!" replied the young man.)
(Ill. How does your relationship with the Lord Jesus move you in your
love and devotion of Him? If He is genuinely alive and is living in your heart, there will
be a manifestation of His presence and of His joy in your life!)
I. Mary At The Tomb
II. V. 12-13 THE MESSENGERS AT THE TOMB
A. Their Presence - There were two angels at the
tomb. Two is the number of witness. These angels have been dispatched from God to bear
witness to the truth that Jesus is alive from the dead. Their's is a message of absolute
hope and perfect assurance - Matt. 28:5-6!
B. Their Posture - Sitting - A
posture of absolute peace! If the body of Jesus had been missing and if there had been
trouble at the tomb, you can be sure that these angels would have been busy. Yet, they sit
as if to say, "All is well!"
C. Their Picture - Rest - These angels appear to
be a perfect rest. It is as if they are telling us, "The work is over, we can all
rest now!" In fact, every other time angels are pictured in the Bible, they are busy.
They are shown carrying messages, dispatching enemy armies and attending to the business
of God. Now they are at rest!
(Ill. What a lesson for the lost soul this morning! Because Jesus lives,
you can rest from your labors. God doesn't want you to try and please Him for salvation.
He doesn't want you being good to get into Heaven. He wants you to trust the death and
resurrection of His Son Jesus and nothing more! If you will come to Him by simply faith,
He will save your soul and let you rest from your self-righteousness, your religious works
and all your futile efforts to please Him. All He wants is your faith!)
D. Their Plan - Verse 13 indicates that these
angels wanted to stir up something within the heart of Mary. Their question is designed to
turn on a light inside Mary's head. It is as if they were asking, "Should you be
weeping? Doesn't this empty tomb call instead for rejoicing?" But, Mary, like so many
of us, seems determined to live by sight rather than to walk by faith. Often, we fail to
discover deep spiritual blessings because we refuse to look beneath the surface to see
what the Lord is trying so desperately to reveal to us!
I. Mary At The Tomb
II. The Messengers At The Tomb
III. V. 14-17 THE MESSIAH AT THE TOMB
A. V. 14 Mary's Confusion - In her weeping she
realizes that she isn't alone at the tomb. She sees a man standing near her, but doesn't
recognize that it is Jesus. She continues weeping.
(Ill. Isn't that just like us? We have His promise - Heb. 13:5, yet we
fail to see Him in our circumstances time and time again. He is a risen Savior and He is
always involved in what involves you. If you will look, you will always find Jesus during
your time of need.)
B. V. 15 The Confrontation - Jesus now asks Mary
2 questions that are designed to expose her to the truth.
1. Why weepest thou? - Why do you weep when you could
2. Who are you seeking among the dead? - Why do you
look for He that is alive among those who are dead.
These questions were designed to remind Mary that Jesus is:
1. The Resurrection and the Life - John 11:25
2. The Prince of Life - Acts 3:12
3. The One who would lay down His life and take it again
- John 10:18
4. The Way, the Truth and the Life - John 14:6
(Ill. It is interesting to note that Mary turned herself around after
speaking to Jesus and continued to stare into the tomb weeping. What a lesson for those
who have lost loved ones to death. When we are faced with death, we should look at the
Lord, and not at the tomb. The tomb is a place of death, but the Savior is Life! Where are
you looking today? There are others who know that they are mere mortals and that one day,
they will die. They dread that day and know that they need to be saved before they go to
Hell, yet they steadfastly refuse to look to the only One who can save them from an
eternity in Hell. Which way are you turned this morning? Toward Jesus, or toward the
C. V. 16 The Call - When Mary doesn't respond to
His questions, the Lord simply calls her by her name and tenderly says "Mary".
This isn't the voice of the Creator calling the creature. This isn't the voice of the
Master calling the servant. This is the voice of the Shepherd calling out to a struggling
sheep. There are 3 great truths revealed here that need to be mentioned.
1. His call is the seal of redemption - Isa. 43:1; John
2. His call is instantly recognized by His sheep - John
10:4. One word from the Great Shepherd and the weeper is transformed into the worshiper!
The sorrow is changed to shouting. All at the sound of His lovely voice. (Ill He literally
does "Whisper Sweet Peace To His Own!")
3. Mary immediately calls Him Master - She responds to
His voice by affirming her love and devotion for Jesus Christ. This ought to be the
immediate response of every child of God when they hear His voice. When it comes our way,
God help us to say, "Yes, Lord!"
D. V. 17a The Command - Mary must have flung her
arms around the feet of Jesus, for He tells her to stop doing that. His command is based
on 2 great truths:
1. There was no need to hold onto Him for He was alive forever!
2. He was about to step into the presence of His Father and offer His
blood upon the mercy seat as the perfect and final atonement for the sins of mankind, Heb.
9:6-13! Jesus was about the become the ultimate wave offering before the Heavenly Father.
(Ill. The Wave Offering - Lev. 23:10-11. On the first day of the week,
immediately following the Passover, the priest would take some of the wheat that was
growing in the field. He would wave this before the Lord and it symbolized that this was
the first fruits and that there would be more to follow. When Jesus appeared in Heaven
before the Father, He presented Himself as our wave offering. He stood there as the
firstfruits declaring that there would be more to follow, 1 Cor. 15:23. In fact, every one
who believes in Jesus will live because He lives! - 1 Cor. 15:51-58.)
I. Mary At The Tomb
II. The Messengers At The Tomb
III. The Messiah At The Tomb
IV. V. 17b-18 THE MESSAGE FROM THE TOMB
A. It Is An Unusual Message - Mary was told to
go and tell the Disciples that Jesus was alive and that He ascended back to the Father. It
was to be a message of hope and blessing to those who mourned His death. This kind of
message was not delivered every day!
B. It Is An Unchanging Message - There are 3
parts of this message that never will change.
1. Jesus Is Alive - Rev. 1:18
2. We are still commanded to come and see, then go and tell. The world
needs to hear from a people who have been to the tomb and know that Jesus is alive. The
world needs to hear of the Savior you serve!
3. All who come to the tomb and see, and who will place their faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from their sins and will be born again.
Conc: In the 6,000 years of recorded human history, the most important
message that has ever been heard is this, "He is not here, for He is risen!" Do
you know this risen Savior today? Are you trusting Jesus for your soul's salvation? As a
Christian, it is obvious that you have come and seen, the question is, are you going and
telling? What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make in you life on a daily basis?
You've heard today that He lives, my question is, "Could you live your life just like
it is if He didn't?" Do you know Jesus this morning?